Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Art of Picture Framing With Master Framer Nelson Petrovich

According to the American Heritage dictionary art is defined as creative or imaginative activity especially the expressive arrangement of elements within a medium. While art is not commonly associated with picture framing, in the case of Nelson Petrovich of Nelson Fine Art Framing in Laguna Beach, CA art is the only word that can apply. Much like the colors and composition of a painting play out in the mind of the painter Nelson automatically envisions the right frame for a piece. Nelson says, "The picture speaks to me. Even though there may be 7,000 plus samples to choose from, there really are only a couple that are right for any given piece."

Nelson's thirty-five years of experience may have something to do with his decisiveness, but it is his keen eye that makes him one of the most in demand framers for artists and museums around Southern California.  Nelson says, "I have an art background, I have studied art, I am an artist - even though I am not a physically practicing artist.

I am an artist in mind and soul. I view life in those eyes. So I bring that to the table."

This artistic understanding of aesthetics gives Nelson a deep understanding of the relation between frame and picture. Nelson explains, "It's not about let's see this nice magenta color, we're going to accent it. Well no, that's really wrong to do because all you're doing is pointing towards that color on that picture. By doing that you are robbing away from the intensity of that picture. So I don't do that. I just try to make it all work together."

Nelson's three decades plus of experience has made him finely attuned to quality materials.

Nelson discusses his shift to the finer things in framing, "I'm into really beautiful frames because I have been doing this so long. When you have been doing something so long you acquire a taste for the best of that product. That's just a fact of life with anything.  That doesn't mean it necessarily has to be really expensive. You can frame stuff really beautifully for a reasonable cost and still have it be a lasting look. Not a trendy, faddy, let's just frame it and stick it up on the wall and three years, five years from now we'll throw it away and get something else. If you have the right person you are working with art wise, frame wise - you frame it, you use the principle that is applied in all of design, keep it simple."

The nature of the framing business is that most of Nelson's creations walk out the door when he is done with me. Not that he minds, but those times when he does get to see his in the appropriate light are small moments of payoff. Nelson says, "Months, years later I'll go into people's houses and see the stuff that I've done and I'll be astounded by how good it looks. Because I see it in the shop - I don't see it living and breathing as art does. And I'm always astonished at how good art looks framed up. It's like wow, I framed that, I made it really sing. I do like doing what I do."


For the past 35 years, Nelson Petrovich has applied his exclusive and innovative skills to the art framing, picture frames.  Nelson Petrovich is now considered by many area artists to be the best art and picture framer in Southern California.  His Frame Showroom and Framing Workshop is located in Laguna Canyon in Laguna Beach, CA, Orange County’s Art Mecca.

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